President Muhammadu Buhari, along with other eminent Nigerians has expressed sadness over the passing away of the highly revered traditional ruler of Benin Kingdom, Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa, describing his death as a great loss to the country.
Buhari in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said president Buhari described the death of the Oba as a great national loss.
Buhari extended his condolences and that of the Federal Government to Gov. Adams Oshiomhole, the people of Benin Kingdom and Edo State on the passage of the beloved monarch, who had ruled over his people since his ascension to the throne in 1979.
The President also extended special commiserations to Crown Prince Eheneden Erediauwa and other members of the late Oba’s immediate family.
President Buhari assured them of the fullest sympathy and solidarity of the federal government and all Nigerians as they mourned the late Oba.
According to him, Oba Erediauwa will always be remembered as one of the most outstanding traditional rulers of his era.
“As the late Oba goes to join his very illustrious royal ancestors, President Buhari believes that his place of honour in the history of the Benin Kingdom and Nigeria has been assured by his long and highly successful career as a public servant, administrator and chief custodian of the much celebrated culture and traditions of his people,’’ the statement added.
The President prayed that God Almighty would receive the late Oba’s soul and grant him peaceful repose.
He also prayed that God would grant “Crown Prince Erediauwa the wisdom and courage he will require to build on the laudable legacies of Oba Erediauwa.’’
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, on Friday said the late Oba of Benin ruled his kingdom with wisdom.
Odigie-Oyegun said this in a statement released to newsmen in Abuja by the party’s Assistant Director (Publicity), Mr Edegbe Odemwingie.
A palace chief broke a chalk in two this evening to signify the king’s passing away.
”Oba Erediauwa’s reign brought distinction, class, wisdom and integrity to the several centuries of unalloyed tradition and custom of the ancient Benin Kingdom; the traditional institution in Edo state and the country at large.
”As a unifier, Oba Erediauwa used his revered position to promote national unity”, the statement said.
The statement recalled decades of meritorious and unblemished record of service the late king rendered to the nation as a seasoned and thorough-bred bureaucrat, rising to the peak as a Federal Permanent Secretary.
”Indeed, Nigeria will always remember the Benin monarch who protected the traditions and values of his people and who was also a champion of national unity.
”Oba Erediauwa’s transition marks the end of a very illustrious era. May the Almighty God and the ancestors grant the Oba of Benin eternal rest.”
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, has condoled with the people of the ancient Bini Kingdom over transition of the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Omo n’Oba n’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo Oba Erediauwa I.
This is contained a statement signed by Mr Turaki Hassan, Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs to the speaker and made available to newsmen on Friday in Abuja.
Dogara noted that the late Oba’s legacy of peace would continue to make impact in the Edo nation and the entire country for generations to come.
“The Edo nation will always remember the late revered monarch as a royal father who loved peace and mediated in disputes with fairness.
“Nigeria has indeed lost a dependable royalty and jewel of peace”, the speaker lamented.
He said that Oba Erediauwa was a peacemaker who devoted his life and time in preaching peace and building bridges of love and friendship.
“The Beni kingdom during his 37 years reign witnessed unprecedented progress, peace and stability and by his demise the nation has lost a rare gem, a father and leader per excellence,’ he added.
The speaker extended his condolences to the government and people of Edo and the entire Benin kingdom for the monumental loss.
Dogara prayed God to grant his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar says late Oba Erediauwa of Benin was a role model, exceptional leader and leading light in the comity of traditional rulers in the country.
This is contained in a statement to mourn the passing of Erediauwa released by the Head of Media to Atiku, Mr Paul Ibe, in Abuja on Friday.
It said Erediauwa radiated royalty, majesty, wisdom, intelligence and nationalism even as he spared no effort in protecting the traditions and values of his people.
It stated that the passing of the monarch came at a critical time when the country was facing numerous challenges of nation-building and would miss his wise counsel.
The statement called on “the proud people of Benin kingdom, the people and Government of Edo State and all Nigerians to take heart at the passing on of this illustrious royal personage.
“The remarkable life he lived, the place of the Oba in Benin and Nigeria history are assured.’’
The statement extended condolences to the Benin royal family and called on all its members to take heart and honour the memory of the late Oba by working for peace, which was a cardinal pursuit of the monarch during his lifetime.
Also, Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State described late Erediauwa as committed nationalist and traditional ruler par excellence whose reign brought tremendous progress to Benin Kingdom in particular and Edo state in general.
This is contained in a condolence message issued in Sokoto on Friday by his spokesman, Malam Imam Imam.
In it, Tambuwal said the deceased monarch lived a life of service to his people and the nation at large.
“Oba Erediauwa has written his name in gold, through his invaluable contributions to the growth and development of the nation’s socio-economy, as well as his globally acknowledged views on governance, public policy, history and leadership.
“He was an accomplished Nigerian and a seasoned bureaucrat whose ideals will be cherished for a long time by succeeding generations of Nigerians.
“The governor extends the condolences of the people and government of Sokoto State to the royal family, the people and government of Edo over the loss.
The palace announced the passing away of Omo n’Oba n’Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Erediauwa of Benin, in Benin on Friday. (NAN)